Die-Cast Club Blog - Nailing the Details
Mark Savage, former executive editor of both Scale Auto and FineScale Modeler.
Creating a world-class 1:8 scale car model is much like designing and tooling up to create a full-size car you run down the highway.
Experience has taught Eaglemoss’ Die-Cast Club (DCC) that patience and attention to detail in what can take more than two years of lead-up to launch, is key to making a highly accurate working model.
The process may sound easy, but it takes a passionate team of 25 people from photographers to modelers, CAD software designers to engineers to get it just right.
DCC starts with a list of possible cars, does market research on each and considers historical milestones too. Once they lock in on a car the team works with one of several experienced model manufacturers to plan the build.
Step one is locating the perfect real-life version of the chosen vehicle and a team of photographers taking shots from every angle. No nut or bolt is left un-pictured.
Then it’s time for engineers to employ CAD software to scan in the detailed photos and crank out a computerized 3D model.
Once every piece is designed and formed, it’s checked by the team, plus the original vehicle’s owner, for accuracy before moulds are cast. The benefit is twofold. First, DCC wants each model to be a true reproduction of the original. Equally important, well-formed parts create a more satisfying build for modelers.
Next a hand sample, a working prototype, is created and inspected by the team and experts associated with the original vehicle.
Because DCC has been doing this for more than 10 years, most parts fit well right off. But an initial snagging stage allows fine tuning of dies, usually for better fit. But making sure everything is perfect takes time and all pieces are studied and fit and refit for precision and ease of modeler construction.
Sometimes a slight color tweak is needed at this point to assure the model is an exact replica of the master vehicle.
Most important to DCC is customer satisfaction, so it conducts “wet” and “dry” testing of the final product. Wet tests involve actual customers being given parts and instructions to build the vehicle. While dry testing involves the information being placed on a website for customers to express their interest and provide input.
Yet for DCC a success is more than parts just looking and fitting accurately. Instructional booklets must be created to help modelers correctly assemble their model. Here DCC takes labeled photos of the model’s parts and painstakingly work with modelers to make sure instructions are accurate, even employing 3D illustrators to assure a satisfying build.
A technical editor examines the final booklet to make sure all is correct and easy to understand. Yet even then DCC provides a final backup to customers, via its customer service department that is well versed in each model build, and which has access to engineers who can provide technical assistance, if needed.
A stunningly accurate model, simple to build, and a source of pride.